Wed Nov 17, 2004
It all started with the smokers.
?Like all modern workplaces, Pollstar.com is proud of its smoke-free environment. And, like all modern workplaces, we have set aside an area outside our main entrance for the smokers on our staff to indulge in their nicotine cravings. A place where they may huff and puff while sucking in and spewing out their toxic fumes into the atmosphere that so clearly defines our hometown of Fresno, California.
?But it didn’t stop there. Even though our designated smoking area prevented the staffers who smoke from contaminating the ultra-clean environment where tour dates, such as the new ones for Norah Jones, are processed, we quickly learned that second hand smoke was only one of the dangers that threatened our operation. So it was just a matter of time before we allocated some more room outside our front entrance for those needing to sink their teeth into a quick chaw of Skoal in order to relieve tensions that often accumulate from running the world’s largest third-party concert info database.
?But while the smokers were smoking and the chawers were chewing, we soon came to learn that methane gas was also a threat to the pristine conditions where dates for Kreator, Donny Osmond and The Damnwells are prepared for public consumption. Therefore, we established a flatulence zone, and placed it directly between the smokers and the chewers.
?Of course, we soon discovered that our workers had other personal habits that might ruin or otherwise hasten the decay of tour data, thus making us set aside even more space outside our front door, such as the tooth-flossing area and the nostril-evacuation area. But it was well worth it, for it allowed our employees to calm their collective nerves after assembling a new routing, say for Zao or Don Carlos, as well as keep the Pollstar.com hallways completely free of smoke, spit, gas and tartar.
?You can probably guess the rest. No sooner had we established these “zones” for our workers that the nail biters on the staff wanted their own area. As did the chronic toe-tappers, the obsessive finger-drummers and the compulsive wipers. In fact, we eventually ended up declaring various areas outside our front door for every conceivable habit, quirk and idiosyncrasy practiced by members of the Pollstar.com staff.
?Which brings us to our problem. Although we’re used to seeing our workers take five from slamming dates for Riddlin Kids or Big Bad Voodoo Daddy into our system, so that they may smoke, chew, belch, pass gas, floss, wipe, drum and bite, we didn’t foresee the dilemma that would face us come quitting time. And that appears to be the sticking point. For while we took steps to ensure that every employee’s need was satisfied by declaring the appropriate zone outside our front door, there was one factor that was completely overlooked. A situation that needed to be resolved before that final whistle blew at the end of the day.
?That’s right. Come 5 pm there’s no one left inside our building to turn out the lights. Oh, well. Maybe it’s time to invest in the Clapper.
Some people go to great lengths to hide their habit
By Joseph P. Kahn, Globe Staff? |? July 25, 2005
The penultimate episode of ”Everybody Loves Raymond” outed one of the series’ recurrent characters — Pat MacDougall, played by actress Georgia Engel — as a secret cigarette smoker. Family members were stunned, if not amused, to discover Pat had been puffing away for years, concealing her habit with the aid of breath mints, air freshener, and other coverups.